Skylab M551 metals melting experiment
- Poorman, R. M.
- May 1, 1975.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The objectives of the M551 Metals Melting Experiment were to: (1) study behavior of molten metal, (2) characterize metals melted and solidified in the low gravity space environment compared to one-gravity of earth, and (3) determine feasibility of joining metals in space. The experiment used the electron beam (EB) and chamber of the M512 apparatus to make a dwell puddle and a melt in a rotating disc of varying thickness. Hence, the EB performed cut-through, full and partial penetration melts, in addition to a resolidified button. The three disc materials were aluminum 2219-T87, 304 stainless steel, and pure tantalum to provide a wide range of density and melting conditions. Observations to date include the proof that EB welding, cutting, and melting can be done successfully in low gravity. Earlier, some welding authorities had postulated that without gravity the EB would force the molten puddle out of contact. However, the experiment proved that surface tension forces predominate. From the viewpoint of cast-solidification, small, equiaxed grains in Skylab specimens compared to large, elongated grains in ground based specimens were observed. The former are thought to be associated with constitutional supercooling and nucleation where the latter are associated with dendritic solidification. In further support of the more equiaxed grain growth in Skylab, symmetric subgrain patterns were frequently observed where there was much less symmetry in ground based specimens.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19760003076.
Accession ID: 76N10164.
- No Copyright.
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